Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Uncertainty Remains As Business Community Transitions Into Level 3

A recent COVID-19 business survey, conducted by the Wellington Chamber of Commerce and Business Central, shows that while 92 percent of respondents intend to operate in some form at level three, just 17 per cent will be operating as usual. The remaining 75 per cent of businesses will operate under capacity and are overwhelmingly uncertain about what the next three to six months holds.

"It’s good news more businesses have begun to operate in level three, but many remain unable to operate anywhere near full capacity," says John Milford Wellington Chamber of Commerce and Business Central Chief Executive.

"Just seven per cent of businesses now remain closed, down from twenty-two per cent at Alert Level Four. However, in contrast only an additional four per cent of businesses will be back to operating at full capacity.

"Consequentially, there remains a high degree of uncertainty. Businesses can see a storm is brewing in the post-COVID environment, and businesses were unable to ready themselves for it due to the previous lockdown conditions. Many businesses believe things will get much worse before they get better.

"The business community knows things will not go back to normal, but they don’t know what that means at the moment.

"This is reinforced by businesses' expected business earnings over the next three to six months. A net 64 percent of respondents believed their earnings would be worse than their current level.

"We asked the same question in our business confidence survey last month and had a net 14 percent of businesses believe their earnings would be worse.

"A lack of confidence in their own business earnings means businesses won’t be investing or trying to grow, they’re going to hunker down and try to survive through the coming months.

"When we asked what further support our members will need over the next three to six months. Nearly half, (46%) were unsure or needed more advice and clarity from the government.

"On the other-side, 50 percent of respondents said they will need more financial support over the next three to six months, with suggestions ranging from wage subsidy extensions, to rent relief, and forms of tax payment deferrals and rebates.

"76 percent of our respondents have used the wage subsidy to help get them through the past five weeks and it will continue to help as things start to pick up again. But the subsidy is due to run out in a couple of pay-cycles, we need to make sure that by then we are back to business in the new normal, and if not, what ongoing support there might be.

"Businesses have been desperate to reopen and begin trading again. Most do not have the privilege of building up cash reserves. We must find solutions that preserve as much as possible to mitigate against further job losses and devastating economic impacts.

The survey asked 11 questions around the impact of the alert level 4 lockdown and was sent to Wellington Chamber of Commerce and Business Central members across Central New Zealand - from Gisborne to New Plymouth and down to Nelson. The survey received 477 responses between April 20th and 24th.

The next business confidence survey conducted by the Wellington Chamber of Commerce and Business Central will be in mid-May.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Banking: Westpac NZ Lowers Merchant Fees For Small Businesses

Westpac NZ is rolling out a new merchant fee pricing structure that will lead to cost savings for more than 10,000 small and medium Kiwi businesses, and could make contactless transactions more widely available for customers. On 1 September, most ... More>>

REINZ: Million Dollar Plus Property Sales Increase 11.7% Nationally

The number of properties sold around the country for one million dollars or more during the first half (H1) of 2020 increased by 11.7% compared to H1 2019, with 5,426 million-dollar plus properties sold (up from 4,858 in H1 2019) according to the Real ... More>>

Waste: Government To Regulate Plastic Packaging, Tyres, E-Waste

The Government is stepping up action to deal with environmentally harmful products – including plastic packaging, tyres and e-waste – before they become waste. As part of the wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills, ... More>>


Bankers Association: Banking Becomes First Living Wage Accredited Industry

Banking has become New Zealand’s first fully living wage accredited industry, leading to nearly 1800 employees and contractors moving onto the living wage and gaining greater economic independence for them and their families. As of today, all ... More>>


Economy: Funding For 85% Of NZ Not-For-Profit Entities Impacted By COVID-19

Results of a recent Institute of Directors poll show that 85% of board members on not-for-profit organisations say COVID-19 has moderately or significantly affected their funding. The ‘pulse check’ conducted in the first two weeks of July looked ... More>>

Volcano Detection: Eruption Alert System Would Have Given 16 Hours’ Warning At Whakaari

An alert system that could have given 16 hours’ warning of last year’s eruption at Whakaari/White Island is ready for deployment, University of Auckland scientists say, with warning systems for Ruapehu and Tongariro the next priority. ... More>>

Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>


FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>


Stats NZ: Mixed Performance By Regions Leaves National Emissions Picture Unchanged

Approximately two-thirds of New Zealand’s regions recorded decreases in their total greenhouse gas emissions, while one-third of regions saw increases between 2007 and 2018, Stats NZ said today. “While some regions reduced their emissions, ... More>>

RNZ: Economic Activity And Business Confidence Bouncing Back

Two surveys from ANZ show business confidence and economic activity have rebounded, but uncertainty about the future remains extreme. More>>